The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty #20booksofsummer #fantasyfiction #bookreview

Catching up with the reviews for the books I chose for the #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge I have for you The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty and it is an amazing book.

SYNOPSIS

Step into The City of Brass, the spellbinding debut from S. A. Chakraborty—an imaginative alchemy of The Golem and the Jinni, The Grace of Kings, and One Thousand and One Nights, in which the future of a magical Middle Eastern kingdom rests in the hands of a clever and defiant young con artist with miraculous healing gifts

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles. 

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound. 

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences. 

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for . . . 

Purchase from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio ( these are affiliate links)

My Review

Wow what and adventure this was as I was transported across deserts into a magical land/ A land full of danger, lies, deceit and revenge. The synopsis gives a very good indication as to what this book is about and I thought it was brilliant.

The author had me hooked within a few pages of this book and kept me captivated till the end. It is the first book in the trilogy and as such there is some scene setting, and getting to know the characters, the history and the like bit it was done in such an interesting way and not once did I feel that I was bogged down.

There are a few characters to get to know, these are introduced gradually and so it was easier to remember who was who. As for what part each of the characters holds or their viewpoint, well that is another thing entirely. This is a story where control and power is at the heart of the decisions made by those higher up the ladder. Keeping people under control and therefore more compliant is easier than a riotous mob.

There are some characters that have a prominent position, such as Nahri, she is responsible for summoning a warrior, Dara, he is her bodyguard and it is he that is responsible for starting to explain about a world she was not aware of.

This is a cracking read and one that I adored. It has a whole load of good stuff in it and if you like speculative fiction and fantasy then you need to have a look at this. Warriors, old rivalries. secrets, magic, mistrust, deception are just the tip of the iceberg in this story and it is one I would definitely recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Curator by M.W. Craven #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge #mustread #bookreview

Today see me sharing another review from one of mt #20booksofsummer #reading challenge books. This is #10 on my list and is an absolute belter of a read. The Curator by M. W. Craven is the 3rd book in the Washington Poe series.

SYNOPSIS

It’s Christmas and a serial killer is leaving displayed body parts all over Cumbria. A strange message is left at each scene: #BSC6

Called in to investigate, the National Crime Agency’s Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw are faced with a case that makes no sense. Why were some victims anaesthetized, while others died in appalling agony? Why is their only suspect denying what they can irrefutably prove but admitting to things they weren’t even aware of? And why did the victims all take the same two weeks off work three years earlier?

And when a disgraced FBI agent gets in touch things take an even darker turn. Because she doesn’t think Poe is dealing with a serial killer at all; she thinks he’s dealing with someone far, far worse – a man who calls himself the Curator.

And nothing will ever be the same again . . .

*THE NEW THRILLER FROM THE WINNER OF THE CWA BEST CRIME NOVEL OF 2019 AWARD*
______________________

Purchase from Amazon UK – KindlePaperback (to be published dec 2020) – HardbackAudio (these are affiliate links)

My Review

I really don’t know where to start with my review for this awesome book. It’s the third book in the Washington Poe series and yes you do need to read them all just so you understand how and why Washington Poe and Tilly Bradshaw work so well together.

The synopsis, well, to be honest, I have only just read it! Why? It’s quite simple, I don’t need a synopsis for this series I will automatically buy the next book as soon as its available, this has been the case since I finished the first one. Oh yeah! the synopsis… it does give a good idea of what you are going to get, but it also comes nowhere near to the journey you are about to embark upon.

The characters of Poe and Tilly are exceptional, they have been brilliantly developed and the banter between the two is spot on. The author has definitely given these two their own voices and set of personal traits that fit them to a tee. Poe is occasionally acerbic, blunt and comes across as tough as nails but he is showing a more softer side when it comes to Tilly. She is naive, a computer genius and has no filter when it comes to speaking, this is explained more int he first book. This is where I suggest reading all the books in order.

As for the plot of the story, well there are a few things that immediately spring to mind and they are dark, twisted, devious and then some. This is such a cleverly executed plot that had me on my toes right the way through. I was wrong-footed many times.

A cracking story, exceptional characters and a storyline that just has to be read, I think this is going to be in my Top Reads of the Year list. This is a must-read book and series, if you haven’t read them already, and especially for crime thriller readers and those that like a mystery on the darker side. This is a book that I would give a massive thumbs up to and therefore it gets a Highly Recommended from me. For me, this is fictional deviousness at its very best.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Three Perfect Liars by Heidi Perks #20booksofsummer #readingchallenge #bookreview

I am trying to get caught up with reviews for the book I have read for my #20booksofsummer #reading challenge. Today I have a review for book #9 Three Perfect Liars my Heidi Perks.

SYNOPSIS

GOSSIP SPREADS FAST.
LIES CAN BE TOXIC.
SECRETS CAN KILL.

When an office fire ends in murder, three women are first in line for questioning.

What is Laura trying to hide?
What is Mia trying to protect?
What would Janie risk for revenge?

They never thought it would come to this.
But nothing can be hidden forever…

Purchase links from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackHardbackAudio (these are affiliate links)

My Review

The synopsis for this book gives a very good idea about this story. A story about 3 women, Laura, Mia and Janie. What do these 3 women have in common, well they all have a connection to the same company. Laura has been on maternity leave and has just returned back. Mia has been covering Laura’s leave. Janie is the wife of the owner.

The story took me a while to get into, it seemed a little confusing as I was taken back and forth on the timeline. The present is the police questioning various suspects. The past is the lead up to a fire that leaves the offices burnt down and a body inside.

While I did like the story in general, I did feel that the police questioning took the edge off it a bit. I think my impatience to want to know more about the women and what they were all about was more interesting. The questioning was initially a little repetitive but did get better as the story progressed.

I much preferred the lead up to the fire, this felt more edgy. It was a slower paced story and while I did like wondering what was going on, I felt like there was too much speculation, gossip and more questions.

It is a good book if you like a slower paced story that is intriguing, and you like a mystery that takes a while to fully understand. I would recommend it as I did read it over a couple of days and needed to know what was going on and eventually find out the truth.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

A Cornish Summer by Catherine Alliott #ACornishSummer #NetGalley #contemporaryfiction #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for one of the books on my #20booksofsummer reading list. A Cornish Summer by Catherine Alliot is one that I read at the begging of June, I really need to get caught up and publish my reviews.

So, what’s this one about…

Flora’s been in love with her husband for twenty years. The trouble is, he’s been married to someone else for the past fifteen . . . 

A summer on Cornwall’s sandy beaches sounds like the perfect getaway.

Except Flora finds she’ll be spending it with her former scheming mother-in-law, ex-husband and his new wife . . .

Can she survive the summer playing happy families?

Could a holiday romance help her finally get over her him?

And will stumbling on the family secret change her mind about them all?

If you like Fern Britton, Katie Fforde and Jill Mansell, you’ll love this irresistible summer read from the bestselling author of About Last Night and Wish You Were Here. 

Purchase from Amazon UK – KindlePaperbackAudiobook (these are affilliate links)

This is a book that has a slower more sedate pace to it, well that is until you get a lot further into it. Flora has been commissioned to paint her ex-father-in-laws portrait, though she is nervous about this she does need the money. Flora and her ex, Hugo, have a son, Peter, who is well provided for, Hugo’s family are wealthy, they have status and not all of them look down on Flora.

This is a book that starts with Flora making her way to the estate in Cornwall where she will paint the portrait. She is shocked when she arrives as there are more people there than she was expecting. This launches nicely back in time to when Flora was a teen and how she and Hugo got together. It then flows naturally up to the present day.

The story has quite a bit of description about the past, about the various characters and also Flora’s thoughts. The more I read the more I found myself disliking some characters, and had a suspicion of something being underhanded. This gave an intriguing edge to the story and also there was some unexpected turns of event.

It is a story of family and secrets, and these secrets are not revealed until later in the book. The author has taken a route and twisted things along the way. It has quite a few characters and they were introduced in such a way that I was able to keep up with who was who, and I soon began to work out who I liked or didn’t.

The story was quite engaging for the most part, though there were times where I wanted it to move on quicker as I felt impatient to discover what revelation was going to happen next. But the journey through this book was lovely and I did enjoy it a lot.

This is a story that would appeal to readers who like contemporary fiction with some really nice descriptions. One I would recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The One Who Got Away by L.A.Detwiler #20booksofsummer #suspense #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review today for The One Who Got Away by L.A. Detwiler. This is a twisted and is another book from my #20booksofsummer reading challenge. Let me show you more about the book…

“Get out while you can. You’ll die here…”

Adeline Evans has recently moved into a home for the elderly. A safe space, where she can be cared for.

When she begins to receive cryptic and threatening notes, she is certain that someone is out to get her.

But the residents are warned against listening to a woman who is losing her memory. It would seem Adeline is tormented by the secrets in her past, and that the menace is all in her mind.

Until danger comes down the corridor and starts knocking in the night…

A compelling serial killer thriller from the bestselling author of THE WIDOW NEXT DOOR.

Purchase from – Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

This was a book that verged on the very dark and twisted. It is told over two main timelines and by two people. One of them is Adeline Evans, she has recently moved into a home for the elderly. She has signs of dementia and is forgetful, easily agitated and since her arrival, the home hasn’t been quite the same. The other voice is that of the killer!

Adeline’s story is told as her time as a 19-year-old. In her home of West Sussex, there have been disappearances of girls, their bodies turning mutilated. There is a serial killer on the loose and the police have no idea who it is.

Now as much as I liked this book I did feel that I was impatient while reading it. My impatience made it feel as if the story was dragging slightly. There are various topics that come to light in this story, one is the mutilation of the bodies and the other is of unprofessional practices in a home and I do admit to these not being my favourite topic in a book, but saying that it does add to the dark and twisted nature of the killer and also to how Adeline was so easily dismissed in some of the things she mentions.

This was a good read, as I mentioned I did feel it was a little slow in places but I still found it was quite addictive as I really needed to know all the answers. The story was quite complex with various things going on and I was kept on my toes until the author was ready to drop a hint. This hint was one that left me with an “Oh, it’s …” a sort of eureka moment if you like.

One for crime, thriller readers that is quite addictive and well-plotted and one I would recommend reading.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas #20booksofsummer #psychologicalthriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for Then She Vanishes by Claire Douglas. This is the 6th book in my #20booksofsummer reading challenge. This was a roller-coaster of a psychological thriller and before I tell you more let me show you what it is all about…

THE ONLY THING THAT WILL SHOCK YOU MORE THAN THE FIRST CHAPTER . . . IS THE LAST. . .

Jess and Heather were once best friends – until the night Heather’s sister Flora vanished. The night that lies tore their friendship apart.

But years later, when a brutal double murder shakes their childhood town, Jess returns home.

Because the suspect is Heather.

What happened to the girl you used to know?

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

This is a rollercoaster of a read as I followed the story of three girls, one went missing as a teenager, the other has a dark past and the other gradually moved away. Flora Powell disappeared 18 years ago, her body was never found. In present-day the younger sister Heather is found with a gunshot wound and is in hospital under police guard. Jess, who was once a friend of the sisters, has just returned back to the Bristol area after many years and reconnects with the family, she is also a reporter.

This is very addictive and also a very twisted story. I say twisted because I was never completely sure who I could trust. The story is told in a back and forth style so fills in the lives of the girls when they were younger. It is brought into the present day and gradually the truth starts to emerge, but is everything the truth? Who is lying and who is really to blame?

I liked this story a lot, it kept me hooked the entire way through and became a one-sitting read. It has a good plot line that took some dark routes that were definitely unexpected. Revelations are revealed that fill in gaps but how they are connected isn’t revealed until much later on.

This is a book where I didn’t really like the characters, it wasn’t because they were badly written but because I felt they were all hiding something, maybe rather than not liking them it is more a case of I didn’t trust them.

This is a mystery thriller that I think crime readers will really enjoy. It has a good amount of twists and is one I would recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

A Summer To Remember by Sue Moorcroft #summerreading #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I m delighted to share my review for A Summer to Remember by Sue Moorcroft. This is book #5 on my #20booksofsummer #reading challenge and what a great summer read this was. Let me show you what it’s all about…

COME AND SPEND SUMMER BY THE SEA!

WANTED! A caretaker for Roundhouse Row holiday cottages.

WHERE? Nelson’s Bar is the perfect little village. Nestled away on the Norfolk coast we can offer you no signal, no Wi-Fi and – most importantly – no problems!

WHO? The ideal candidate will be looking for an escape from their cheating scumbag ex-fiancé, a diversion from their entitled cousin, and a break from their traitorous friends.

WHAT YOU’LL GET! Accommodation in a chocolate-box cottage, plus a summer filled with blue skies and beachside walks. Oh, and a reunion with the man of your dreams.

PLEASE NOTE: We take no responsibility for any of the above scumbags, passengers and/or traitors walking back into your life…

GET IN TOUCH NOW TO MAKE THIS A SUMMER TO REMEMBER!

Purchase from Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link)

If you are after a gorgeous summer read then look no further than A Summer to Remember by Sue Moorcroft. It is set in the fictional village of Nelson’s Bar in North Norfolk and mentions many villages and towns that I know. I say know because it has to be over 30 years since I last visited the area around Hunstanton when I went on many family camping holidays.

So the story is of Clancy who is starting again in the village. The last time she was here was for her cousins’ wedding that did happen, her cousin Alice ran off before the ceremony. With this past, Clancy is not sure of her welcome, some tar her with the same brush as Alice and therefore being a trouble maker, while other seem willing to realise that Clancy is not Alice.

The village and its inhabitants are a small group and this helps to keep the story on point and focusing on key characters. I like this approach as it means there is more development with the characters and a chance for me to really get to know them all.

The story is about making new starts but is also about saying goodbye to the past, Clancy has been holding on to her past through anger and it takes a while before she realises that this is not helpful. After all, if you are going to make a break then it has to be a clean break, luckily she has some good neighbours to help ease the transition, but there are still umps and pitfalls along the way.

This is a gorgeous summery read, it has problems with families being too protective, about vindictive and narrow-minded people but there is a wonderful balance with others who are willing to help[, to take a chance and admit when they are wrong.

A romance, a contemporary fiction with drama and passion, it makes this a very addictive read that is perfect for a summer fiction escape. I would definitely recommend it.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Deathless by Peter Newman #fantasy #20booksofsummer #bookreview

I am not sure which number this is on my #20booksofsummer challenge this is, I have read 10 of them so far and I am a little behind with posting my reviews. The Deathless by Peter Newman is the first book in The Deathless trilogy and here is what it is all about…

From the Gemmell Award-winning author of THE VAGRANT, a thrilling new series of power, intrigue, and magic.

THE DEMONS

Creatures lurk in the endless forests of the Wild, plucking victims from those who scratch a living by the sides of the great Godroads, paths of crystal which provide refuge from the infernal tide.

THE DEATHLESS

Humanity’s protectors reign within crystal castles held aloft on magical currents – seven timeless royal families, born and reborn into flawless bodies. As immortal as the precious stones from which they take their names, they fight to hold the Wild at bay. For generations a fragile balance has held.

AND THE DAMNED…

House Sapphire, one of the ancient Deathless families, is riven by suspicion and grief. Their hunting expeditions against the Wild are failing and entire villages have begun to disappear.

Then, when assassins strike, House Sapphire shatters.

NOTHING LASTS FOREVER

Purchase from Amazon UK – this is an affiliate link

This is the first book in The Deathless Trilogy, it is a really good read that sets the scene and then led me into the world of the Deathless.

The Deathless are immortal when they die their souls are reborn into a new body and they live as a normal person would until they get to old age or die, so the cycle begins again. They live in castle of crystal that float above the ground below. The ground is a wilderness full of great dangers from creatures that stalk the shadows and hunt everything. There are ways of living in the wild.

The Deathless are the rulers, and with rulers there are going to be politics, and boy are there some underhanded shenanigans going on in this story. Trying to alter the future by removing bloodlines, or trying to discover ways of undermining anothers position makes this an intriguing read.

There are various characters in this story, a mix of good, bad and often times not quite sure on which side of the fence they sit. On the ground there are people with there own problems, and once again the matter of who can be trusted is an issue.

I really like this first book in the trilogy, it has a good pace and there is a lot going on to keep me turning the pages. I liked it a lot and I would recommend it to readers who are looking for a new fantasy trilogy to get into.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor #20booksosummer #crimethriller #bookreview

I am delighted to share my review for The Dangerous Kind by Deborah O’Connor. I have had this book since it was released and this is why it made it onto my #20booksofsummer reading challenge. This is the 2nd book I’ve read in this years challenge.

Here is what the book is all about…

NB – there are various covers for this book, this is the one I have.

What if the people we trust are the ones we should fear? The breakout thriller of 2019 that will make you second-guess everyone you meet.

We all know them. Those who exist just on the fringes of society. Who send prickles up the back of our neck. The charmers. The liars. The manipulators. Those who have the potential to go that one step too far. And then take another step.

Jessamine Gooch makes a living from these people. Each week she broadcasts a radio show looking into the past lives of convicted killers; asking if there was more that could have been done to prevent their terrible crimes.

Then one day she is approached by a woman desperate to find her missing friend, Cassie, fearing her abusive husband may have taken that final deadly step. But as Jessamine delves into the months prior to Cassie’s disappearance she fails to realise there is a dark figure closer to home, one that threatens the safety of her own family . . .

Set over a long, dark winter in London and perfect for fans of HE SAID/SHE SAID, THE DANGEROUS KIND is at once a gripping thriller and a stunning portrayal of the monsters that live among us.

Purchase Link for Amazon UK (this is an affiliate link for Amazon, it earns me a small commission but with no cost to you)

Well this was such a dark book to read. I found it quite addictive and given the nature of some of the subjects I thought the author tackled it very well without going into too much detail.

The story flits back and forth between characters and time, gradually building up intrigue and suspicion along the way. as the synopsis for this book suggests, there is a darkness to some people, they are dangerous and appear to the outside world to be safe, respectable and “normal”. But what if these people are given an avenue to vent this dangerous side to their personalities. What if they are the ultimate manipulators and know how to control, coerce and compel vulnerable others into doing horrible and dangerous things. What if these manipulators go one step too far!

The book deals with domestic abuse and I saw one side of manipulation, abuse and bullying. This was not glamorised at all, the basic of details indicating the abuse was given. Then another type of abuse was brought into the story, that of children being used in horrific ways, again into details were gone into. What I read was the effect of how these people were treated, the fear, guilt and shame were apparent as well as the need to please their tormentors.

The story went down some dark paths and the work of one woman who is trying to find the whereabouts of a missing person. Jessamine is a radio presenter who focuses on this mystery and it takes her well outside her comfort zone. What she doesn’t realise is that while she is focused on the missing person, there is a shadow looming on her horizon.

This is a good read and even though it feels so wrong to say it I did enjoy it. I enjoyed the suspicion, the lies, the manipulation is used, the suspense and intrigue. It was well-paced and I found it very difficult to put down as I needed the answers and I wanted to know who was responsible. I did feel the ending felt a little rushed, I would have liked to have a bit more suspense. Maybe though I just wasn’t quite ready for it to finish.

This is a book that would appeal to readers who like their crime thrillers a bit more on the darker side and I would recommend it.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx

20 Books of Summer 2020 – #20BooksofSummer

It is once again that time of year when the 20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge is due. I just managed last years challenge with a couple of hours to spare!

So what is it about…

  • Sign up to the 20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge on Cathy Page @746books
  • Choose 10, 15 or 20 books that you have had on your TBR (To Be Read) list
  • The challenge is to read your chosen books between 1st June to 1st September
  • Yes you can swap a book out
  • Yes you can change your list
  • Yes the rules are pretty slack so there is no pressure.

So this year rather than choosing the full 20 I have decided to choose 15 as I do still have Blog Tour Books to read and review as well. I have chosen some from my physical books, some from my kindle and some from my Netgalley shelf…

So that is my 15 books a nice mix as I do like genre hopping. Choosing 15 also gives me the option of adding another 5 if I have time 🙂

Many thanks for reading my post, alike or share would be amazing 🙂 xx